Everyone here in Egypt is enthusiastic to know what will happen tomorrow, Friday 4th February, as demonstrators prepare to mark the final day for Mubarak’s regime. out there, I can hear the populace shouting in loudspeakers: YAUM AL-RAHEEL … YAUM AL-RAHEEL (leaving day … leaving day) as they head for Tahrir Square to prepare for tomorrow’s.
Most people might wonder; “what has brought Tahrir Square to this fame?” … “Why have the protests remained at Tahrir?”…
Tahrir is a major public square in Downtown Cairo, Egypt, where the main Egyptian Immigration Offices are located, and so it holds gatherings, and is the primary location in Cairo for all races. It was originally called Midan Ismailia “Ismailia Square” before the Egyptian revolution of 1952, and then it became Midan Tahrir “Liberation Square” following the liberation of Egypt in that year and this turned Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In fact, the center of the square is circular, and there is a statue of Sheikh Omar Makram which was erected in 2003.
What Egypt is going through today is completely turning her into a no-more –peaceful state. Egypt is one of the countries in the world where its bona fide citizens are proud of; they nicknamed it “The mother of the world” because of its being the first in many events:
- It is the first country to use alphabets to write.
- In Egypt the first building using stones was built, that is the step pyramid in Sakara.
- Astronomy, chemistry, fine architecture, art, religion, jewelry, carpentry, mathematics, perfumes, needles for sewing, carving stones, first folding bed for camping – it belonged to Tut Ankh Amun-, first folding chair for the beach of the same King, first condom (for him too), first paper to write; that is the papyrus paper, first eye makeup, shaving tools, beds and chairs like modern ones, all these and more are Egyptian inventions.
For all that, Egypt is called the mother of the world.
On Tuesday, January 25, Egyptians went into the streets in numbers not seen since the 1970’s. This kind of demonstration is shaking many thinkers especially with everyday clashed. Egypt’s violence will be nine days old tomorrow.
Internet and phone services were cut off in Egypt almost entirely since midnight Thursday, 25th Jan and was restored on Wednesday, 2nd February as protests turned violent in the capital, a day after president Hosni Mubarak said he would not step down immediately. The government undoubtedly cut the services to interrupt coordination among would-be demonstrators in an effort to put off Egyptians from protesting.
The violence has destroyed the window for Mubarak leaving quietly as protests take new step after another every day. They have already started gathering at Tahrir square for “the night service” of today with both the pro-Mubarak thugs and the anti-government forces though there have been some reports that the Mubarak thugs have mostly left. Mubarak may have been hoping that the extreme violence would shut down the protests but it appears to be adding more insults to the injury.
Heavy gunshots aimed at anti-government demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir [Liberation] Square, left at least five people dead and more than 800 wounded, according to reports from Egyptian television on today.
“The real casualties taken to hospital were 836, of which 86 are still in hospital and there are five dead,” Health Minister Ahmed Samih Farid told state television by telephone.
Sustained bursts of automatic weapons fire and powerful single shots began at around 4am yesterday and were ongoing more than an hour.
The Egyptian military is at the square with tank squads trying to keep some order, but do not intervene.